Should you be eating that?

“Should you be eating that?” Jane, one of our slim and healthy members who lives with type 1 diabetes gets really frustrated whenever she hears that question.

It’s annoying to have people criticizing your portion sizes and food choices. “I’m an adult and I’ve had diabetes for many years. I think I know what I should be eating!”

Jane’s frustration was brought to mind by a recent story published by Shannon Marengo, also living with type 1 diabetes, who was discussing her favourite lollies and desserts with a work colleague.

Another co-worker joined the conversation. She asked the dreaded, “Aren’t you diabetic? If you have diabetes, I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to be eating all that crap.”

Shannon responded, “I wear an insulin pump and am in excellent control, so it’s ok to indulge occasionally.”

Her colleague, who does not have diabetes, wasn’t finished: “I’m pretty sure that wearing an insulin pump doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat whatever you want. I have known plenty of people who live with diabetes and I know what I’m talking about.”

Oh dear.

Shannon replied with, “Well, I’ve lived with diabetes for 24 years, over half of my life, and I’m pretty sure I also know what I’m talking about.”

Her colleague had another light-bulb moment.

“Wait – do you have juvenile diabetes? Aren’t you a little old to have been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes?”

Does this sound familiar?

In her article Shannon made the point that some people think they know a lot about diabetes, and that can be painful.

“Some people are ignorant and just don’t know better, but it’s the ones that are ignorant and act like they know it all that drive me bonkers.”

So during the holiday season we hope you don’t often hear “Should you be eating that?”

And if you do, we hope you can handle the question with good grace, safe in the knowledge that you know what’s best for you and managing your diabetes.

We wish you the happiest Christmas and a New Year full of good health, healthy food, and good friends.

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